By Simran Gupta & Kaydee Donohoo
The “Me Too” campaign is an extremely powerful way to give everyday citizens a voice on social media. People have been posting “me too” on their Facebook statuses to express that they have experienced sexual harassment in some way at some point in their lives.
The movement began in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, in an effort to express how widespread predatory behavior is. These status are not just from celebrities, these are our friends and family. It is highly likely that almost every woman you know (and trans/nonbinary person) has experienced alarming rates of sexual harassment. It is also a powerful reminder that if you are a victim you are not alone.
As powerful as this campaign is, seeing certain posts and statuses can be triggering for survivors. There is also the issue that many may not be able to write “me too” or something of the sort, for their own personal safety. They may not be ready to out themselves or their experience. With a campaign like this one combined with constant news updates, it is incredibly important to use self care when it comes to social media and the news.
It’s okay to log off social media, and stay unplugged from the news for a period of time. It’s also important to take breaks that are actually breaks. When Facebook and Twitter are full of politics and you know using your phone is a habit, remember sites like Pinterest and Tumblr where you can control the content more. Don’t go to sites that make you feel worse afterwards. It is okay to purposely ignore tweets and statuses that can overwhelm or trigger you. Part of being the best activist, writer, or simply the best human being that you can be means knowing when to put yourself first. Give yourself time to process what you’re taking in. Respond when you feel ready.
In the case of the #metoo campaign, you are also absolutely allowed to keep your “me too” silent. You call the shots with what you are comfortable sharing, and don’t “owe” anyone a post. You are in control of this aspect, at the very least, of your life and how much of it is public.
Self-care is also taking a step away from the 24-hours new cycle. CNN updates, or constant Twitter commentary may appear when you are not in the mindset to deal with them. Not only is there constant stress-inducing news involving the administration; there area also tragedies in other countries, hurricanes, and the sense of impending doom from events that might not even happen.
In the midst of all this there is the call to action to be an activist. There is the need to call up senators, attend protests, and rally in the places you can make a difference. There is a huge emphasised importance on staying informed on current events so nothing goes under the radar.
It’s exhausting. There is this seeping guilt that you are never doing enough.
Remember that you won’t be much help to any cause if you completely drain yourself.
No one can do their best 100 percent of the time. Remember that when you are taking a break to recharge or staying away from certain topics, you are going to be a better more informed version of you for different moments. You will be up and ready when those that don’t need a break right now are exhausted. Everyone will be exhausted eventually, so you are doing your part to make sure we are not all exhausted at once.
Your value as a person is not based on how much news you can handle.